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Beginner HTPC build

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I have been researching building an HTPC for awhile now, and have identified some components that I think would meet my needs. The main features I'm interested in include:
  • Ripping my existing DVD/bluray collection on the HTPC
  • Streaming Netflix, Hulu, YouTube
  • DVR for ClearQAM or OTA

I'm not much of gamer, so no need for a bleeding edge graphics card. This is my first PC build of any kind, so I'm hoping to keep things as simple as possible. Budget-wise, I want to keep things under $1,000.

Here are the components I've come up with:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/yZOh
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/yZOh/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/yZOh/benchmarks/

This being my first PC build of any kind, I have some newbie concerns/questions:
  1. I prefer the appearance and lower profile of the Silverstone ML03B, but I'm concerned about available room to cable manage (this being my first build). I also am concerned about airflow and cooling, so I was thinking the GD05B might be a better option for me with the additional height and built-in fans. Any thoughts?
  2. DVR capabilities and wireless networking features are important to me (I'm in an older house and don't relish the thought of running network cable through my house). Can you see any reason why the respective cards wouldn't work? I guess my main concerns are compatibility with the case slots and mobo (cards are low profile/half-height and the mobo has 2 pcie x16 slots while the tuner card is a pcie x1 card).
  3. Anything else I may have overlooked?

post #2 of 3
I just recently did my first build and faced the same question about whether to go ML03 or GD05. I went GD05 with a modular PSU, also because I was afraid of not having enough room. With the GD05 you're probably OK even without modular PSU because there's room under the drive cage in front of the left side case fan to stuff cables.

Check if your mobo has a 3-pin case fan connector. My mobo keeps the 3 case fans at about 500-600rpm at idle, and they're dead quiet. My 7200.14 2TB Seagate HD is louder than the case fans. If you have the case fans running at full blast though, they're pretty loud. Anything above about 800rpm is quite audible (full is I think 1100rpm).
post #3 of 3
I finished this build which is my first:

Silverstone Tek GD05B-USB3.0 - $95
Intel Core i3-3225 - $110
ASRock H77M DDR3 1333 Intel LGA 1155 Motherboard - $70
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 2 x 4GB SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - $40
Seasonic SS460FL 460W fanless 80Plus modular PSU - $130
Samsung 840 Series 2.5" 120GB SATA III internal SSD - $98
HGST Deskstar 2TB 3.5" CoolSpin 5940 RPM SATA III 32MB Cache HDD - $125
LITE-ON BD/DVD ROM Blu-ray Combo Model ihes112-04 - $55
Rosewill RNX-N250PCe High Gain Wireless Adapter 802.11b/g/n PCIe - $25
SATA cables (3) - $21
Y-Cable for case fans 3Pin Molex to 3x 3Pin Molex - $3
USB extension cable - $24
Windows 8 64-bit DVD OEM - $96
Assassin HTPC Blog membership - $25

total - $917

When I put this all together the HTPC would not POST. It would run for 10 seconds, shut off for 5 seconds, run for 10 seconds again etc. until I turned off power. After I moved the Rosewill adapter from the PCIE1 slot to the PCIE2 slot, I got a normal POST. The H77M has 2 PCIe slots:

PCIE1 - PCI Express 3.0 (x16 mode)
PCIE2 - PCI Express 2.0 (x4 mode)

My 3 case fans run at ~700rpm with the Y-Cable connected to CHA_FAN2 and the fanspeed BIOS set to level 3.

Parts not used:

Lenovo N5902 Keyboard Remote - $50

I prefer my Bluetooth mouse on a mousepad on a wooden tray / board and Bluetooth fullsize keyboard from my previous laptop HTPC. Yes I'm putting down the mouseboard and picking up the keyboard, but not as often as you would think. I still need to find a wood tray with a lip so that the mouse doesn't slide off the edge. The USB extension cable puts the Bluetooth dongle on top of the TV for better reception.

Sapphire Radeon HD 5450 PCIe Graphics Card - $32

Not used. I was able to get 1:1 pixel matching with the Intel integrated graphics.
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